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Church Planting

God’s Plan for Transformation

by
Drs. George and Hazel Hill

Published by

Victory International Publishing

Copyright © 2010 by Drs. George and Hazel Hill

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the authors.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Church Planting – God’s Plan For Transformation
Copyright © 2010 by Drs. George and Hazel Hill

ISBN: 978-0-9743265-9-7
Digital ISBN: 978-0-920567-56-2

Published by Victory International Publishing
Printed in the United States of America





TABLE OF CONTENTS



Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Why Start New Churches?

Chapter 2: New Testament Church Plants

Chapter 3: Principles of New Testament Church Planting

Chapter 4: Kingdom Expansion Through Church Planting

Chapter 5: Different Types of Church Plants

Chapter 6: Apostolic Team Church Plant

Chapter 7: Accuracy, Going to the Right Place

Chapter 8: Breaking into the Community

Chapter 9: Turning the Crowd into a Congregation

Chapter 10: Finding the Right Pastor

Chapter 11: Bi-Vocational Ministers

Chapter 12: Creating a Church Climate That Attracts Leaders

Chapter 13: Characteristics of Unsuccessful Church Plants

Chapter 14: How and Why Victory Churches Were Formed

Chapter 15: A Church Planter’s Greatest Strengths

Chapter 16: The Church Planter’s Wife

Chapter 17: Pitfalls of Church Planting

Chapter 18: Are You a Church Planter?

Chapter 19: Apostolic from Root to Fruit

Appendix A: Planting a Church in the Philippines

Appendix B: Media Project Proposal

Appendix C: Marketing Your Vision; Funding a Church Plant; and Legal, Governmental and Financial Issues

Appendix D: Surprising Insights from the Unchurched

Dedication

Acknowledgments

About the Authors

About the Book

Books by Drs. George & Hazel Hill





Introduction



A First Generational Pioneer Movement

Victory Churches is a first generational pioneer movement that is rapidly expanding all around the world. We are an apostolic, prophetic, Church planting/growth movement with a 20 to 25% average growth rate every year for the past thirty years.

Because of our rapid growth pattern, we have many more opportunities than we have trained, qualified people to take advantage of them. Therefore, a great deal of our attention must be on raising up tomorrow’s leaders today. We must build for the future or we will always be years behind.

We thank God for the past and all that has been accomplished through God’s grace and favor. Our past gives us tremendous hope for the future; because if God can do what He has done with the little He had to work with yesterday, imagine what He can do in the future with what we have now!

As we look to the future we can see a world full of opportunities for those who are totally committed to Christ and willing to serve. Jesus Himself has declared:

The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)

Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35)



It is harvest time!

Charles Finney said, “Revival is no more miraculous than a crop of wheat.” A great future doesn’t just happen anymore than a good garden just happens. If you are not thinking, planning and preparing for the future, you end up living in the past. The future belongs to those who are willing to invest in it.

Jesus spent three years building a team of 120 committed believers, who went on to change the history of the world after the birthing of the first Church in Jerusalem.

We must have a mindset of foresight. “A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). We must think at least two years ahead, otherwise, we will always be in a crisis, survival, maintenance mode instead of an aggressive, possessing the land mode.

We as Victory Churches are known for being proactive rather than reactive. We, like the children of Issachar, have seen where things were going and have acted accordingly (1 Chronicles 12:32). To maintain this position, we must constantly be building for the future.

This means we must have foreknowledge, forethought, foresight, insight and a prophetic edge, together with a pioneer spirit.

We must train tomorrow’s leaders today

We must build tomorrow’s teams today

We must write tomorrow’s books today

We must compose tomorrow’s music today

We must buy tomorrow’s properties today

We must plant tomorrow’s churches today

We must develop tomorrow’s programs and strategies today

We must form tomorrow’s structures today

We must invest in the future now. People don’t sacrifice anything for today, but if they can catch a glimpse of what the future could look like, they would be willing to sacrifice something small today for something gigantic tomorrow. It’s called the principle of delayed gratification. We pay now and play later.

The future is worth fighting for. The battle is not over your past or your present; it’s over your future. Destroy the author and the book will never be written; destroy the musician and the song will never be sung. We must continue to be pioneers: pioneer churches and pioneer pastors, leaders and people.



Eight Characteristics of a Pioneer

1. Pioneers dream of a better life (Hebrews 11:10, 16).

2. Pioneers are willing to go where they have never been before and do what they have never done before in order to obey God (Hebrews 11:8).

3. Pioneers are willing to put up with what is less than ideal, because of what they see happening in the future. (Hebrews 11:9).

4. Pioneers always want to go further (Hebrews 11:13).

5. Pioneers are a tough breed of people. They don’t quit, they would rather die than go back to their old dull boring way of life. (Hebrews 11:15, 33-34).

6. Pioneers are builders. They will cultivate the wild land, turn the desert into an oasis and bring order out of disorder (Hebrews 11:7).

7. Pioneers are willing to fight for what they believe (Hebrews 11:33).

8. Pioneers break the way open for others. They blaze a trail for others to follow. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel; we can take off where other pioneers left off (Hebrews11:20-22).

Every generation needs a first generational pioneer movement. Settlers are quite happy to stay and maintain what already exists; but pioneers are always seeking to go beyond the present boundaries. There is more to Christianity, to Church, to life, to the Holy Spirit and the power of God than we have ever experienced and I am going after it!

A great future is not going to just fall on us. As Victory people we are ready to make an aggressive faith decision to get up and go after it. We are going to let God stretch our lives knowing that the best is still to come!

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. (Mark 16:20)

God’s plan to Transform Nations is in the planting and building of enough Jesus loving, Bible believing, Holy Spirit filled, soul winning, New Testament type churches.

The biggest and longest lasting revivals that have ever taken place were church planting movements. The Methodists were a church planting movement with John Wesley as the apostolic leader. He had a systematic plan on how to plant churches all around the world. Then the Pentecostal churches came along at a later date. They didn’t have a plan, it just happened spontaneously by the Holy Spirit.

I believe the last great move of God will encompass both the Methodist and the Pentecostal movements. It will be a move that has an aggressive, strategic plan to plant churches all around the world, together with a spontaneous move of the Holy Spirit. My confidence is that as you read this book you will sense the heartbeat of God and be thrust forth into Holy Spirit directed and empowered service.

It’s time for another Great Awakening! It’s time to rise up and transform our communities and our nations, by being co-laborers with Jesus Christ in the exciting work of building His Church (Matthew 16:18). It’s time for the militant, miraculous and triumphant church to arise and be about the Father’s business!

Together with Christ, we can be World Changers, History Makers and Transforminators! Let’s do it big, Let’s do it good and Let’s do it together!

Yours for the planting and building of thousands of fresh, new, vibrant churches!

Dr George Hill



The prophetic passage of scripture for our Movement this next decade (2010-2020) is from Acts 9:31:

Then the churches ... had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied.

The key phrase for the Victory Movement is: Order always Precedes Multiplication and Miracles. Multiplication and Miracles begin with a multiplication of the Word, and then a multiplication of disciples. Out of discipleship comes forth leadership and a multiplication of the anointing that gives birth to a multiplication of churches and resources that will transform nations. Multiplication eventually brings globalization and return of Christ!





Chapter 1

Why Start New Churches?



1. There is a Need

In order to effectively evangelize an area, it takes one good church for every two thousand people. I heard one Church Growth expert say that, “The greatest evangelistic methodology under heaven is the planting of new churches.” The local church and having enough good local churches is God’s plan to transform nations. The local church is not one of God’s optional programs—it’s His only program. Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 18:16). This is a guarantee of success if we work together with Jesus to build His church, the way He says we should build it.

The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050 the world’s population will increase to 12 billion. That means there will be approximately twice as many people on the earth as there were at the turn of the century. Based on the formula of one good church for every two thousand people, the Church will need to plant another three million churches by the year 2050 just to keep up with the population growth!

Just as the future of the human race is dependent upon new babies being birthed into this world, so the future of the Church is dependent upon the planting of fresh, new, vibrant churches.



2. The Church Needs to Release Ministry

The job of the five-fold ministry is to equip and release people into ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). If we don’t release people, they will become discouraged and critical, or they will rebel. Without a church planting vision, we train people to be either frustrated or to split churches. Too many trained leaders all with the same gifting, all in one church, can become like a plant pot with too many plants in it. The plants become root-bound. The roots begin to choke each other. There is just not enough room for growth. Proverbs 11:24-25 says:

There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich and he who waters will also be watered himself.

If a local church does not plan to plant churches, it will end up doing so anyway. It’s just that it will be done the wrong way! The Message Bible for these verses say, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger, the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.”



3. A New Church Gives New Hope

A new church gives new hope for many who have been hurt and disappointed or rejected by existing churches for various reasons. It gives people the possibility of a new start.



4. A New Church Raises the Standard

A new church in the community raises the standard in many of the existing churches; much like a new restaurant raises the standard of the other existing restaurants. If you only have one good restaurant in an area, it is not too long before the prices increase, the portions get smaller, and the service begins to deteriorate. But, when a new, exciting restaurant comes into town offering special meals at special prices, served by the best waiters and waitresses, the old restaurant had better smarten up, or it will lose its customers.





Chapter 2

New Testament Church Plants



As we examine the church plants in the book of Acts, we discover several principles that will help us in our own church planting endeavors.



Jerusalem (Acts 2:37-47)

Jesus’ first church plant took place in Jerusalem. I think it’s worth noting that the Lord only let Peter have a one-day crusade in order to get this church off the ground. Did you ever wonder why they only continued the meeting for one day, when three thousand people were saved in that short a time? Most of us would have extended the meeting, and stayed as long as we could, once we saw that kind of success!

I believe that Jesus was planting His church responsibly! It would have been irresponsible for Jesus to let Peter have a seven-day crusade and keep on winning souls! He only had a hundred and twenty leaders! If any more people had been saved, this new church would not have been able to handle it. John Wesley makes this point in a quotation from his own Journal (1703-1791):

I was more convinced than ever before that the preaching like an Apostle, without joining together those that are awakened and training them up in the ways of God is only begetting children for the murderer. How much preaching has there been for these twenty years all over Pembrokeshire! (Wales) But no regular societies, no discipline, no order or connection; and the consequences are that nine out of ten of the once awakened are now faster asleep than ever.

A lot of times we see evangelists go into a third-world nation to hold a crusade. They advertise the meetings and thirty thousand people come forward to get saved. What they don’t tell you is that many of them were saved in someone else’s meeting two years earlier! But, the evangelist gets great pictures for his magazine of thousands coming to the Lord, and then he goes home! To me, that’s irresponsible! We need to have adequate follow up and discipleship! I am glad to say that today many evangelists are now beginning to work together with apostolic leaders and churches in the area and the harvest is being conserved.

When Jesus planted His church, He made sure He had adequate leaders! (Actually, He didn’t have quite enough, if you go by the Exodus 18 principle. In order to have enough leaders, He would have needed 300 “leaders of tens,” 60 “leaders of fifties,” 30 “leaders of hundreds,” three “leaders of thousands,” and one “leader of 3,000” that comes to 394 leaders in all.) But remember, the 120 were hand-picked and personally mentored by Jesus the wise master builder.

We need to follow Jesus’ example and be responsible! We have started many churches with over 200 people in the opening service, but before we did that we made sure we were fully prepared to be able to follow-up on that many people. Otherwise we would have been acting irresponsibly! There is much more to this than just getting two or three hundred people together for a service! You have to have all of the other vital elements in place as well!

When we started our first church in Toronto, Canada, we had 336 people show up for the first Sunday service. But we did it responsibly. We sent a team of five-fold ministers over first. We sent four ministers and their wives, as well as five Bible College interns, three months in advance. Then, when we had a good turnout we were able to follow up on them. You cannot build a house bigger than its foundation. When a church outgrows its foundation, it is in trouble. Apostles and prophets are foundation specialists, ensuring healthy, sustainable growth (Eph 2:20)



Samaria (Acts 8:1-25)

In Acts 1:8 Jesus gave the disciples a plan to reach the world. They were to start in Jerusalem. Then, they were to branch out into Judea. From Judea they were to reach out into Samaria.

By Acts 8, they hadn’t moved out of Jerusalem. Everything was in place in the church, but no one was reaching the regions beyond Jerusalem. Jesus didn’t give the disciples power for just Jerusalem, He equipped them to reach out to the entire world! So, persecution came and the Christians were forcibly scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

Some of the things you struggle with are often the very things that push you into the will of God. Sometimes things go wrong, to make you more right. Here, the persecution pushed them into the very thing that God had commanded them to do. Many people tend to settle for comfort and pleasure rather than growth, change and advancement. However, God does know how to stir up the nest and mobilize His people.



Antioch (Acts 11:19-30)

Here we see the birthing of the church at Antioch. The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch. He was sent, and he went. It doesn’t say the Holy Spirit led him. Those in authority in the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to plant the church in Antioch, and then pastor the people. This was the church that eventually became the great missionary sending church.

In Acts 13 we see five of the key church leaders ministering to the Lord and fasting and the Spirit of God gave them fresh direction.

Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:1-2)

The word of the Lord was received and acted upon immediately; because this church had a spirit of faith and a releasing spirit. Barnabas and Saul were released into the ministry God had for them, and the church grew on without them. This is easy to say, but very difficult to do, otherwise a lot more churches would be doing it!



Macedonia (Acts 16:5-15; 25-31)

The first New Testament church was birthed in Jerusalem. Then, the Antioch church was raised up with a heart and passion to reach the world. It was from Antioch that Paul attempted to go into Asia, but the Holy Spirit forbade him (Acts 16:6-7).

It’s interesting that three chapters later in Acts 19, Paul went into the very same place that God wouldn’t let him go earlier. Just because God didn’t allow you to go somewhere a few years ago doesn’t necessarily mean that He doesn’t want you to go there now. Sometimes we don’t get a green light because the timing isn’t right.

In Paul’s case, the timing wasn’t right. So, he sought the Lord’s direction. As he prayed and sought God, he had a vision of a man from Macedonia saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:10). As soon as Paul knew God’s leading, he obeyed immediately. Today’s obedience positions us for breakthrough and revival tomorrow.

When Paul arrived in Macedonia, he found a group of people praying and they had been praying for someone to come over to Macedonia and help them. We have found this same kind of situation so many times in our ministry! A group of people in a city praying for God to move or asking God to help them, and eventually they either called us or we found them and a new church was planted. How exciting it is following Jesus and being led by the Holy Spirit! I had an exciting life before I became a Christian but nothing like this! Read our book, Adventure, Romance and Revival and you will see.

Some people play it so safe. Consequently, they remain dormant. They never do anything for God. I’d rather step out on the water and be in a position where God might have to come and save me, than to play it so safe that I never experience God’s power. Someone said, “If you ever achieve ultimate security you will also achieve ultimate boredom.” What’s the use of life if you don’t live it! When’s the last time you did something for the first time?

Church planters are risk takers! They will go where others won’t go, and do what others won’t do. As a result, their lives brim with excitement and rewards! William Carey, the great missionary to India said, “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.”



Thessalonica and Corinth (Acts 17:1-10; 18:1-11)

This was an interesting church plant. Paul and his team were only in Thessalonica for three weeks. This church was birthed in the same way Paul planted several of his churches. He would go into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day and teach from the Scriptures how the crucified and resurrected Christ was the Jewish Messiah. The acceptance or rejection of the gospel message does cause a separation between the believers and the unbelievers. The group that believed in Jesus were excommunicated from the Synagogue, and established fellowship and support groups which became churches. The group that didn’t believe usually wanted to stone Paul, so, many times he had to leave town quickly. That’s why Paul only stayed a few weeks in Thessalonica. Church planters may not be the most popular people in town. Why? Because they can be a threat to those steeped in religion and to those who are in error or to those who are territorial or perhaps are afraid to lose people from their congregation.

Eventually Paul began to wonder how the church was doing, so he sent Timothy to Thessalonica. When Timothy arrived he found a thriving work for God. Paul stayed different lengths of time in different places: three weeks in Thessalonica, 18 months in Corinth and three years in Ephesus. It just depended on what needed to be done and then Paul, remaining sensitive and obedient to God’s will and timing, would leave when his part of the job was complete.

When you’re planting a church you can’t say that you’re going to be there for a specific period of time. It will vary from church plant to church plant. My wife and I were 18 months in the church we planted in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada; I was up late one night, reading my Bible when God spoke to my heart from Acts 18:9-11:

Do not afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you: for I have many people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

I knew that was God’s Word for me. And we were there exactly 18 months. The Lord simply used us to establish the work, and it went on successfully after we left. We never unpacked our bags, because we knew we weren’t going to be there long. But of course, you can’t tell the congregation that.

Every place you go into, you should go with the attitude that you’ll be there as long as it takes. Determining when it comes time to leave you’ll leave in a responsible fashion. No one should leave a church without training up or bringing in responsible leadership to turn the church over to. I think it’s a crime for someone to start a church, and then leave because they get frustrated. The sheep are scattered and people get hurt. I believe it is difficult for God to bless that person in the next place.

On the other hand I believe there is more damage done by pastors staying too long than pastors leaving too soon. Church planters stay too long because of one of two reasons: The first being a sense of security. They think to themselves: “I have built this church to the place where I can now receive a decent salary and I want to enjoy the security for a while. Besides, I love these people and don’t want to leave them.” The second reason for a church planter staying too long is a sense of duty: “I have planted this church and now it’s time for me to move on but there is no one to replace me.” Of course the answer to this is to train up a successor.

Through our Victory Churches we help the church planters to recognize when their time is up and help them to leave while the people still love them. We do this by helping them find a replacement pastor so they can fulfill their responsibility. Then we help them financially by paying their salary and supporting them financially in the next church plant. This provides security for them and their family as they move to their next assignment without having to worry about finances.

Your destiny is made up of a series of God given assignments. Every assignment fulfilled prepares you for the next one. The most important thing is to finish well, that may mean staying somewhere longer than you really want. Hazel and I have very often had to stay somewhere longer than we wanted to because we did not have a qualified successor. If you don’t finish well, it doesn’t matter how many good things you did, people remember how you finished! Finish well and finish responsibly!



Ephesus (Acts 19:1-26)

In this church, we see the process, the principles and the results of revival. We see Paul, the wise master builder, at work. This church began with a small group of men who were praying. Paul asked whether they had received the Holy Spirit, and they replied, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” Then Paul prayed for them and they were baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Paul corrected their theology on the Holy Spirit and then separated the serious believers and taught them the Word of God daily in the school of Tyrannus for two years. After two years God confirmed His Word with unusual miracles (See Mark 16:20).

Acts 19:20 says, “So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” The Word of the Lord has a life of its own and the result of it being planted in good ground was an explosion of evangelism and discipleship. From there the church grew and developed until the social impact was evident. The city’s idol makers went out of business. Those who had used “curious arts” (witchcraft) came together and burned their books. And revival hit the city! The spiritual climate, and then the culture of this whole area, was changed from an idol worshipping, loveless culture to a Biblical based, and Christ centered culture that had a positive impact upon the whole of Asia.

This same sort of thing has happened in recent history. In the Welsh Revival of 1904, 150,000 people received Christ in 6 months out of a population of less than I million. The judges wore white gloves because there were no cases to try, no rapes, thefts or murders. People had become born again and where trying with God’s help to live a life pleasing to God. It is said they had to retrain all of the donkeys that worked in the coalmines because they didn’t understand the miners’ commands anymore, since the miners stopped cussing.

God has called Victory Church International to plant churches all over the world. We started with our Jerusalem (Lethbridge). Then we moved on to our Judea (the province of Alberta). Next was our Samaria (Canada). Finally, we’re working on spreading the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth! We are doing this by planting Church Planting Movements in as many nations of the world as is possible before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Church Planting Movements start small but over a period of time they grow gigantic. I always say to our people, “What will you find when you reach the end of the earth?” And they answer, “A Victory Church.”



Three Kinds of Church Growth

1. Internal Growth

This is growth in Grace. Out of the good treasure of a good man’s heart, be brings forth good fruit. If you want to bring forth more fruit, then increase the treasure in your heart. In our local churches we want to put value into people. We want to see them grow to the place where they are living a victorious Christian life and are reproducing themselves in others.

2. Expansion Growth

This is the numerical increase of the church within its own community. We all want our churches to grow. I couldn’t stand just maintaining the same number of people year in and year out. God has not called us just to maintain. He has called us to “occupy until He comes” (Luke 19:10).

3. Extension Growth

Extension growth takes place when a church plants a daughter church in a surrounding area or when it releases qualified leaders to take over ministry positions in other churches. Some churches are in smaller communities, and will never have a church with a large number of members. But, they can still be involved in this kind of church growth through the people they send out to minister in other places.





Chapter 3

Principles of New Testament Church Planting



The Great Commission provides us with the Biblical foundation behind our desire to plant churches. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” There are several conclusions we can draw from this verse of Scripture.

First, the Commission is universal. The term every creature is certainly all-inclusive. There is no people group on the face of the earth that is excluded from our Commission. We cannot afford to rest until every person in our community, regardless of their race or social position has had an opportunity to hear the gospel presented effectively enough to allow them to make an informed decision.

Secondly, the Commission is urgent. We need to place a high priority on evangelism! Statistics show that only fifteen percent (15%) of the churches in North America are growing. And, of those that are growing, only one percent (1%) is growing through new converts. The rest are growing through transfer growth. That tells me that we have not taken the Great Commission seriously. If we had, then all of our churches would be growing through new converts, the people we have led to the Lord. We need to discover a new urgency in our call to evangelize our communities.

Finally, this passage communicates personal responsibility. Jesus said, “Go ….” The Lord’s Commission extends through the ages to every one of us. As Christians, we must give priority to evangelizing the lost.



The Biblical Pattern

In the first century, churches were committed to church planting. We read of the church at Thessalonica, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything” (1 Thessalonians 1:8).

Here we see a local church that spread the Gospel throughout their entire region. To the Thessalonians, the Great Commission consisted of more than a mandate to build their own local church. It also included the planting of new works in neighboring communities. This group of Christians were committed to church planting.



The Principle of Reproduction

From the beginning of creation we see the principle of reproduction. It is the purpose and plan of God that everything produces after its kind (Genesis 1:11). That is true of plants and animals and is also true of churches. Churches should produce after their own kind. Fruit bearing is a spiritual principle of life (John 15). Paul commissioned Timothy to commit the things he had heard to “faithful men who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). We as ministers should be reproducing ourselves in the lives of faithful men and women who will go out from us to win new souls, make new disciples and plant new churches for Christ.

This is exactly what we’ve seen in the Victory Churches over the last thirty years. First, God commissioned us to build a model church in Lethbridge. At the time, it was one of the largest and most powerful churches in Canada. Then we built a model region of churches in Southern Alberta. After that, we went to Calgary and built a model city-wide family of churches. From there, it expanded into a model Province.

What we did in the city of Calgary we were able to reproduce in the city of Edmonton. What we produced in the Province of Alberta was reproduced in Provinces across Canada. And what we produced in Canada we are endeavoring to reproduce in as many nations as possible before the return of Jesus Christ. This is the principle of reproduction!

Whenever we reproduce a model that God has given us, we understand that a reproduction doesn’t have to be inferior to its prototype. Nor does the original model have to be perfect before you start reproducing it elsewhere. For instance, take the Model-T automobile. When they first came out, they didn’t even have an electric starter. You used to have to crank start them and jump out of the way before the crank broke your arm.

In fact, the electric starter was invented as a consequence of a man named Charles Kettering having his arm broken while crank starting a car. After his arm was broken, Kettering thought, “There must be a better way to start a car than this!” So he invented the electric starter. He turned a problem into an opportunity and made a great improvement on the original invention.

The same is true within Victory Churches I don’t want our first church in Lethbridge, Canada, to be our best model. Our model is continually being upgraded. I believe that we can do better in some of these other countries than we did in Canada. Why? For one thing, we made a lot of mistakes in the process of developing working models. The new nations of the world that we have and are moving into don’t have to make the same mistakes we made. They can pick up where we left off and make their churches even better. This is why Hazel and I are excited about the opportunity we now have of heading up the Victory Churches of the USA as well as Canada. We can learn from our mistakes and build upon our successes; thus enabling ourselves to build God’s kingdom with a greater degree of maturity, accuracy and excellence. The more churches we plant the more efficient we should become. It is the law of production to perfection; the more you do it the better you get!



The Principle of Sending

In our desire to fulfill the Great Commission, there must always be a blending of the willingness of the individuals to initiate a new work for the Lord with the deliberate sending and commissioning of people to a work. Paul and Barnabas were sent from their home church in Antioch by the direction of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-3).

Local churches must be willing to release leaders to plant new churches around the world. In the natural, a healthy body does not grow by having one cell that grows to an unlimited size. In fact, if one cell in your body grows to an unlimited size, you will end up with a malignant growth and a diseased body.

The way your body is intended to maintain its health is by division and reproduction. Cells reproduce themselves by dividing.

Some churches need to do this very thing in order to get off a plateau. Instead of becoming introverted, they need to get a Great Commission Vision. As they divide to plant a daughter church, they will experience growth themselves.

Paul and Barnabas were sent out from the church at Antioch. When people begin a new work, sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to their hearts and they go. Other times people are sent by those in authority over them. Both methods are legitimate and scripturally based.

When we left our first church in Lethbridge, the elders laid hands on us and sent us to a city called Medicine Hat. They were willing to send us to expand the vision, and we were willing to go. As a result, we left responsibly and with great confidence that God was leading and directing our path.

Whenever God changes the direction of your life it should be confirmed by those in authority over you. You don’t just wake up in the morning and experience a great change of direction in your life. Usually, it comes through seasons of prayer, as God prepares your heart over a period of time.



The Principle of Giving

A giving church is a growing church. No church has ever suffered in the long run by releasing members to begin a new church. There may be a short time in which it looks like they’ve experienced a loss, but in the long run they will increase. The principle of sowing and reaping not only works for individuals, it also works for churches.

While it may be difficult to release some of their most productive people, mature pastors will do it because they are more interested in the total work of God than they are in their own local church. In the long run, the principle of release works in the pastor’s favor. Many times, the people you’re not willing to release become a hindrance to you.

My wife and I have always been more interested in helping people fulfill the vision for their lives, than we are in getting people to help us fulfill the vision for our lives. Through the years we have had to release some of our key leaders to other ministries that go beyond Victory Churches. I had to release a number of my key associates to establish Canada’s first 24 hour Christian television station (The Miracle Channel) and others to establish Canadian Family Action Coalition.

These people were key leaders in our movement for years and many were released in the same year. But, when we released them into their next phase of ministry, it created opportunities for many new leaders to come to the surface and not only fill the vacuum, but expand our leadership base.

When I released my first key leader to a ministry outside of my local church I was wondering how I was going to manage without him. The Lord spoke to me through Proverbs 11:24, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right. But it leads to poverty.” From this passage the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “For every one you release I will give you two of like quality and character.” I have been faithful to do my part, and the Lord has been faithful to do His part. I believe this is why the Lord has been able to entrust us with so many of His leaders over the years because when it’s time to release we will release. We call it Apostolic Release for World Wide Increase.

Ultimately, if we are willing to release people to fulfill the call of God on their lives, it will be best for the Kingdom of God and for us. What’s best for the Kingdom of God is ultimately best for you and me.



The Principle of Faith

Over the years, I’ve noticed that many pastors walk by sight. They continually watch the attendance, the church budget and the membership roll. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t become the main focus. These things are an indication of the quality of ministry that’s happening in the church, so we ought to pay attention to them. But we can’t make ministry decisions on the basis of these things.

Establishing a daughter church demands great faith. It takes a lot of faith to release a group of people from your church to start a daughter church, and then pay them for leaving. But the benefits far outweigh the problems and the cost. Don’t forget that: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).





Chapter 4

Kingdom Expansion Through Church Planting



But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. (2 Corinthians 10:13-16a, KJV)

In this passage the Apostle Paul is displaying a pioneer spirit. This is a person who has captured the Great Commission Vision. It’s a vision to reach into the regions beyond. But, notice where it begins. He said, “God has given us a measure of rule.”

1. Self-rule is the first step to doing something great for God.

The first measure of rule is over ones own self. According to Proverbs 25:28, “If you have no rule over your own spirit, you’re like a city whose walls are broken down.” That means you can be taken captive by the enemy at any time. So you are not really ready to rule over anyone if you don’t have control over your own tongue, attitudes, appetites, passions and lusts.

2. The second measure of rule is over your family.

1 Timothy 3:1-13 gives us the qualifications for those in the ministry. One of the qualifications says, “If a man can’t rule over his own house, how can he take care of the church of God?”(1Timothy 3:5)

3. Rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens (Exodus 18:21).

No one begins by ruling over a church of five hundred. You begin by first ruling over yourself. Then you get your family in order. The beauty of Christianity is that a ruler of ten can become a ruler of fifty, a ruler of fifty can become a ruler of one hundred, and a ruler of one hundred can become a ruler of five hundred. But, this is not where you begin. Your measure of rule will grow, step by step, until you’re in the place where God has called you to be.

In 2 Corinthians 10:13-16 KJV the apostle Paul makes five key statements:

1. We have a measure of rule

2. Our measure reached unto you

3. We stretched ourselves not beyond our measure

4. Our hope is that when your faith is increased we shall be enlarged by you

5. To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you



We have a measure of rule

Again, your measure of rule grows, as you are faithful in the areas that God has presently given you to rule over. If you have a family at this time, your measure reaches to your family. If you’re a leader of a small group, your measure of rule reaches to the members of that group. If you’re the pastor of a church, a regional overseer or a national director that’s how far your measure of rule reaches. But, you don’t start that way. Your measure increases, as you are faithful. “You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things” (Matthew 25:23).



Our measure reached unto you

Paul was speaking to the church of Corinth. This was a church that he had personally planted and spent 18 months establishing. He said, “If I am not an Apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 9:2). The Corinthian church was the fruit of the apostolic ministry and anointing on Paul’s life.



We stretched ourselves not beyond our measure

When Hazel and I started in the ministry, we didn’t plant the church in Lethbridge, Alberta and then go across the country and start a church in Toronto. Why not? It was outside of our measure of rule for a period of time. If you do something outside of your measure of rule you waste your most valuable resources: your time, your energy, your money, your people, etc. That is why we try to stay focused. We don’t want to waste our resources doing something that God hasn’t placed within our present measure of rule. One of the devils tricks is to try to get you to reach for too much too soon.


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